Microsoft Keeps It Low Key as It Unveils Kin
With little hoopla and fanfare, and in front of a small crowd of bloggers and journalists in San Francisco, Microsoft quietly unveiled the phone formerly code named Pink today, now officially dubbed "Kin."
Tucked away quietly in a little club in a neighborhood peppered with furniture showrooms, carpet galleries and tile stores, Robbie Bach and a dozen or so senior executives from Microsoft, Sharp and Verizon unveiled the new device aimed at socially connected youth.
The market response was correspondingly mild, as Microsoft stock dropped only two cents during market trading hourse, and recovered the two cents after the market closed. Verizon closed down and remains unchanged after market close.
With few details on pricing, exact in-store dates, or the business model for premium services and apps, it's unclear how much marketing and merchandising fire-power will be put behind the phone by two of the three companies responsible for bringing the device to market. Verizon spent heavily to promote Droid, as it has done with the Envy ad Chocolate, but Sharp did little to advance Sidekick marketing with advertising like HTC, RIM and Motorola are doing with their smartphone product lines.
A Microsoft executive, formerly with Danger, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2008, indicated more details will be revealed as part of a"rolling thunder" strategy that builds momentum towards the May launch.
The announcement comes a few months after the MIX10 developer preview of Windows Phone 7, and represents Microsoft's first mobile handset with the Zune-styled Windows experience for a consumer audience, which has not typically been interested in the Windows Mobile platform.